Houston Texans: Nico Collins benefits from C.J Stroud's perfromaces
When the Houston Texans selected quarterback CJ Stroud out of Ohio State University, it was met with much-warranted excitement. Texans fans last had an accurate pocket passer when Matt Schaub was in town. That's not a slight at DeShaun Watson, but he was not the most pocket-passing quarterback. He did a lot of good, but accuracy was not his calling card.
Stroud came into the league touting himself as one of the most precise growers in the whole draft class. We spoke ad nauseam on how the quarterback play of the Houston Texans during Nico Collins's first two seasons cost him. Below is evidence from our report on Collins' in May.
"Further evidence of this can be seen by Collins's overall grade of 92.9 on intermediate catches, despite only catching nine out of 22 deep passes. Why were only 39% of the intermediate passes caught from a receiver with zero drops? The quality of the passes thrown was subpar. Davis Mills was graded as the worst starting quarterback on intermediate throws by PFF. The next worst was Zach Wilson. "- Peter Manfre, Toro Times
Where is it that Collins has been doing most of his damage? The intermediate passing depth. His role looks very similar to what it had his first two years, but what's changed is going from Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills to CJ Stroud, who is proving time and time again to be very accurate.
Collins runs three routes in an elite fashion: the deep-in, go route, and corner routes. All three routes require a quarterback with great to elite accuracy for the ball to end up close to Collins's hands. Stroud has been doing that as advertised. A prime example is the late-game touchdown toss he threw on a corner route to Collins against the Steelers. You can see that throw and catch at the 1:05 mark in the video below:
With Collins's elite skills meshed with Stroud's, the Houston Texans may have a new number-one receiver and an elite option on an offense many touted as having the worst offensive weapons in the league. The Houston Texans are having their best year since 2019 and a ton of credit is due to the emergence of Nico Collins.